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miller6997
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Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 992

I took the R69S for a ride on Sunday, putting in about 80 miles on Angeles Crest Highway. On the way down the mountain, I noticed that the handling felt odd and the ride was harsher than usual. When I got home, I checked out the front end and discovered some slack in the steering head. Specifically, I blocked up the bike to get the front wheel off the ground, and when I pulled the fork fore and aft, I could feel and hear the slack and see maybe an eighth of an inch or less of movement. If I tighten up the friction damper a bit, the slack goes away, but of course that is not a “fix.” The bike has the tapered replacement bearings, which have maybe five thousand miles on them.

Is there a routine service/adjustment that I can do, or should I just prepare to pull the front end apart and, while I'm at it, install new bearings? The Barrington book describes the assembly process for the front end, but makes no mention of servicing these bearings when they’re already in place.

Thoughts/advice appreciated!

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Jon Miller
'67 R69S
'13 F800GT

Twocams
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Joined: 03/16/2014
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If it were me I would look at

If it were me I would look at the bearings making sure the races are OK. As well as the bearing cages. If everything looks good put it all back together. Your life may depend on it. Have a new set of bearings handy. You can always return them.....unless. They always say check the torque after a few hundred miles.

twocams

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Twocams
69 R69S 03 K1200GT
92 R100RT

wa1nca
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Ashfield Ma.
Joined: 09/27/2012
Posts: 358
Loose steering head bearing

enter steering head bearings in the search box

A quote from Dave79x

I did mine a year ago and don't remember exactly how the top race sits, but it won't matter. The stem nut and top bridge bear down on the inner race of the rollers anyway. A trick to fully seating and adjusting the new roller bearings is to torque the stem nut down to 70-80 ft/lbs, (don't worry, it won't hurt the bearings) then rotate the stem lock-to-lock 10 or 15 times. Loosen the nut, then do the same thing again. This seats all the races and squares them to the frame and stem. Loosen the nut again and torque the nut to about 12 ft/lbs. Just so the forks fall softly side-to-side with a little drag. You'll be good to go for a long time.

Dave
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Dave

Tommy

  • bmw-r50-to-r69s-steering-damper-i.png
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Tommy Byrnes
54 R51/3 55 R50 64 R27 68 R69US 68 Sears Allstate 250 (Puch)

MikeL46
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Joined: 01/01/2016
Posts: 58
Tapered bearings rarely need

Tapered bearings rarely need adjustment. It's possible one of the races (probably the lower one) wasn't fully seated and finally went home in use. Readjust and enjoy riding.

Mike

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67 R50/2 w/R100 engine/trans and Ural Sidecar
69 R60/2 76 R90S 78 R100RS
70 Triumph w/Spirit Eagle Sidecar

schrader7032
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San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6544
Here's Duane's article on the

Here's Duane's article on the steering stem bearings:

w6rec.com/steering-bearing-mod/

I've been chasing a high speed wobble which turns out to have been a bad front tire. But I looked into the steering stem bearings. Something that you should investigate is the washer that is under the top plate but on top of the bearing adjuster. You have to figure out what thickness you need...Duane shows the part numbers about 2/3 way down the page. I found that my bearings were tight, so I reinstalled the top plate without the center damper. I stacked up some feeler gages until I found the gap between the bottom of the top plate and the top of the bearings. It was 1.44 mm so I ordered a 1.5 mm spacer. Vech says that most bikes require the 1.5 spacer. If you have the wrong spacer, say too thick, you can put too much pressure on the bearings when everything is reassembled.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

miller6997
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Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 992
Thanks!

These comments are all helpful. I think I'm on the right track now.

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Jon Miller
'67 R69S
'13 F800GT

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